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What Is Offline to Online?

December 20, 2022
Kayla Uytengsu

Figuring out how to effectively measure the success of print, OOH, or TV campaigns was once an impossible task. Marketers can spend up to millions a year on print marketing campaigns with limited ways to attribute their outcomes to specific spends and campaigns.

Today, that’s possible with “Offline to Online” (‘O2O’) solutions. Flowcode has created a product suite, starting with QR codes, that provides solutions to businesses to overcome this issue. The idea behind O2O is to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world. This can be achieved through Flowcode’s QR code technology, which acts as the doorway for consumers to reach your digital content from any offline experience or marketing collateral.

For the first time in history, you can effectively track omni-channel engagement across every single touch point to grow faster. Flowcode is more than just a QR code company, we provide direct connections between consumers and your brand, with scalable solutions backed by real-time data and analytics.

Looking to learn more about the rise of O2O? Keep reading for an in-depth explanation of how O2O works, inspiration for enabling your own omni-channel experience, and more.

What is the difference between 'Offline' and 'Online'?

To put it simply, an offline experience is an interaction that exists in the physical world, or the Earthverse, and is typically hard to measure. From a marketing perspective, an offline experience, or atomware, could be anything from your brick and mortar store, to your marketing collateral such as fliers, billboards, or even TV ads. Alternatively, an online experience is any digital interaction, such as your company’s website or social media.

For decades, offline marketing tactics were the main method for both marketing efforts and commerce experiences for shoppers. However, with the rise of social media impressions and click tracking online, many business and marketers invested more their efforts more deeply into e-commerce and digital marketing.

Digital channels have made it easier than ever to gather specific data to better optimize and target marketing. Click-through-rates, impressions, and customer contact collection are all examples of the useful metrics used to measure the success of marketing efforts and continually improve them. In the past decade, online interactions have been favored because of the accuracy and efficacy they offer through data and wide reach.

Historically, offline channels have been harder to measure, lacking the same level of granular data insights and attribution metrics available with online marketing tactics. This challenge of bringing insight to offline marketing channels and shopping experiences can be overcome with leveraging O2O strategies, like using Flowcode's QR-powered data suite.

omnichannel marketing data

What are the benefits of an omni-channel strategy?

Today, shoppers are purchasing equally across physical and digital channels, and 80% of shoppers use their devices in-store to facilitate their shopping experience. Businesses need to integrate their online and offline channels for a seamless experience that matches how consumers are behaving. Failing to invest in O2O strategies that harmonize your offline and online channels, the earthverse and the metaverse, for a seamless shopper experience means you can fall behind. Investing in omni-channel campaigns drives engagement by more than 3x more than single channel campaigns.

Leveraging offline marketing also remains a powerful tool to increase brand awareness, foster consumer experience, and drive unique conversions in ways that digital channels struggle to compete. Offline marketing adds an entire additional touchpoint for marketers and brands, and has several unique advantages.

  • Meet consumers where they are: Offline marketing tactics can make a memorable impression by catching consumers in a moment or experience – whether that’s at a sporting event or near your storefront. Offline marketing also passively catches consumers you wouldn’t have normally accessed through digital channels.
  • Make an impression: easier to catch someone’s attention and make a lasting impression for longer when things are physical experiences, rather than another page or button in an endless stream of other ads.
  • Builds trust: high quality offline marketing campaigns can build credibility and establish the standards of a brand. Shoppers like the option to browse and research on several mediums; one survey found that 65% of shoppers who used mobile devices in-store said the interaction made them more likely to purchase a product. Through communication tools such as Flowleads, the Flowcode team can establish instant connections with consumers, fostering trust and building a solid foundation for long-term partnerships. By being readily available to provide assistance, Flowcode demonstrates a commitment to customer support.

O2O strategies offer you the best of both worlds: the personal and experiential nature of offline marketing, with the high-touch data insight to help you test, learn, optimize, and attribute. Omni-channel is the perfect way to serve the personal experience consumers are seeking. Adopting O2O enables you capture consumers through the trends they are demonstrating; consumers want to access brands their own way and on their own time.

How can O2O grow my business?

Offline marketing strategies have unique qualities for a customer's experience, and are clearly in demand in the changing market. Unfortunately, offline marketing strategies in isolation can be a bit of a black box. Beyond estimates, it’s hard to know if your marketing efforts are effective or attribute marketing spend to conversions. This lack of metrics means it’s difficult to test and improve over time.

Accessing customer data enables you to make data-driven decisions, empowering your business to gather a stronger understanding of your audience to grow your reach and revenue. If you’re going to engage in them, it pays to execute your offline marketing in a way that provides meaningful results and insights. QR codes are one of the easiest tools to bring your offline consumers online, providing them a unique experience and your business actionable data.

Flowcode helps make O2O frictionless – we're an end-to-end unified platform for connecting your offline consumers to online experiences helping you own your flow. This starts with bringing consumers online with a code using a Flowcode (for online, print, or TV). Next, you can curate an online landing page experience with customizable widgets on our Flowpage. Finally, gather robust insights using Flowcode analytics and our offline operating system through a Flowgraph to access impressions, CTR, conversion rate, ROI and even geographic insights on interest. With Flowcode's O2O suite, you can understand consumers behavior, identify opportunities, and improve your marketing strategies painlessly.

offline to online marketing

How do I bring my customers from 'Offline to Online'?

In reality, there’s no place you can’t put a Flowcode. Here are some use cases for inspiration:

  • Bold Placement: Add a QR code to your TV, jumbotron, billboard campaigns to direct users to your online marketplace or social channels instantly
  • Print: Include QR on your ad placements, such as in magazines or newspapers, or in your direct mail campaigns to track attribution for your campaigns and collect customer contact information for future campaigns
  • POS: Use printed collateral like window clings, table tents, fliers, stickers in-store for product education, or at check-out for customer loyalty and retention

In reality, there's nowhere you can't put a Flowcode. Use your imagination and get started with building a campaign right for you!

'Offline to Online' best practices

Want the inside scoop on how to build an effective O2O campaign?  Here are our insights:

  • Be eye-catching:
  • Use your design materials to highlight your brand’s aesthetic and ethos to make a lasting impression on consumers. Customizable and artistic QR codes, aka Flowcode, make it easier than ever to make your CTA fit into your design. Plop a stunningly designed QR code into the center of your direct mail campaign and see how users respond.
  • Use a clear and actionable CTA:
  • It always helps to nudge users with a “Scan Me!” to drive engagement with your codes. Once you bring consumers online, ensure that you guide users as clearly as possible to  the action you want them to take (i.e. subscribing to your email list, shopping an ongoing promotion, etc).
  • A great way to do this is creating a curated landing page that highlights 3-4 actions for users to engage with seamlessly, and reduces the risk that you lose their interest or attention along the way. Try making one with Flowpage!
  • Create urgency and interest:
  • Use the mystery of QR codes to generate excitement and a sense of exclusivity for consumers. Highlight short term promotions like sales and bundles, to market limited edition merchandise drops, or for lotteries (i.e. “scan for a chance to win!”)
  • Leverage metrics: one of the highlights of QR campaigns are the newfound data insights you can gather. Leverage this to test different aspects of your marketing decisions such as:
  • A/B testing design or messaging materials
  • Segment testing across multiple audiences by geography
  • Collect 1st party data to understand your audience
  • Use conversion pixels to study your customer’s journey to purchase

Investing in O2O marketing strategies and commerce enables your business to create a unique customer experience and capture data in the process. Use QR technology to integrate your offline and online presence into a cohesive and seamless experience.

With Flowcode, you can use offline marketing and build meaningful relationships with customers when you create a seamless transition to your online presence (socials, website, and more). As a bonus, you can take the uncertainty out of your offline marketing expenditure when you operationalize it with robust data insights.

Flowcode is the end-to-end O2O platform that empowers you to build relationships and gather data with ease. So get ready, get set and FlowGo with Flowcode!

Ready to build your O2O campaign? Get started!

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